Acid Wars: Hada Labo Premium Hyaluronic Acid Lotion

Today Lori and I are excited to debut a new and ongoing feature at For The Love of Acid called “Acid Wars”. This feature is a riff on why we were inspired to start this blog, when we would sit and discuss the merits and faults of every beauty item that we came across. In Acid Wars, we’ll be debating over a skincare or makeup item that we’ve both tried, as it relates to our differing skin types. Erika = Combo to Oily / Lori = Dry to Dry AF


Today it’s the Hada Labo Premium Hyaluronic Acid Lotion (“The Premium” for short) and we definitely have some warring views about it. I (Erika), was first introduced to it last year as the Asian Beauty Reddit started raving about it left and right. So, of course, I immediately coveted it. A friend of mine happened to be going to Japan for vacation so I had him bring back a bottle of the Premium as well as a refill for me. I was so sure I’d love it!  I figured I would send Lori a decant or two to see if she’d like it, and then she could have the refill. (Nawwww, always thinking of me! – Lori)


Well, I didn’t love it. So I packed it up and sent it to Lori. Cue this discussion:

Erika: So I finally sent you the package I’ve been meaning to send you for about a year now.

Lori: Ha! True, and about 2 yrs worth of it.

Erika: Or, in other words: That time Erika sent Lori 2 years worth of Hada Labo Premium because she hated strongly disliked it.

Lori: You always send me your cast-offs, are you sure you don’t “strongly dislike” me?

Erika: Never! Only the best for my friends lol.  I figured you’d probably like it since my face doesn’t.

Lori: My face loves it! But, OK… I finally have used this for a while, so let’s get to this, but first, don’t you use the original Hada Labo Gokujyun Lotion now?

Erika: I do and I love it! I’m currently using the HL Shirojyun Lotion. To me, the Gokujyun feels even more moisturizing than the Shirojyun but not thick and gross like the Premium. I think my dislike of the Premium stems from the fact that it kind of feels like I smeared Vaseline all over my face.

Lori: So this is why I think you’re crazy! The Gokujyun is slimier to me, stickier, and takes way longer to absorb even thought The Premium is thicker starting off.

Erika: What the hell?? No way! My face looks like a side eye gif right now. And if I had the Premium on it would be a shiny faced side eye gif.

Like this? LOL – L / Yeah, pretty much. – E

Lori: I’m serious, though! LOL The original really does feel stickier to me. The Premium I also like better, because it also foams less when emulsified. It’s thicker, travels less, but definitely absorbs faster and has a less sticky residue. Many people agree too about the stickier nature of the original so I know I’m not crazy. But also, Vaseline? LOLOLOLOL what?

Erika: Foams?? What is this insanity that you’re referring to?

Lori: If you rub them in your hands, they will foam. It’s a no-no, don’t do it. It makes it REALLY sticky then.

Erika: Lol well I only pat it on like you’re supposed to.

Lori: I like to warm stuff in my hands before I do the Smear & Pat, ok? Lol. I need to just go back to this vaseline comment….so, ok…what? I double layer this stuff on. If we were talking about, say, that Banila Co. (Miss Flower and Mr. Honey) Cream you gave me, yes, but this is such a silky absorbing texture to me.

Erika: Lol ok look, it’s not QUITE Vaseline-like, but it gives me the same skeevy feeling as Vaseline on my face does.

Lori: Ahhhh OK I that makes more sense. I even use this AFTER my serums, and it goes right in. So basically, it’s like you’re rubbing snot on your face? lol. But how does that feel different to you vs. the original Gokujyun or every snail essence ever? I’m baffled. Did it sit on your skin

Erika: Snot? That’s so nasty, Lori. To me it’s so thick that I need to use it after my Cosrx 96 Snail Essence and Scinic Honey All-In-One hydrating steps, but before my moisturizers. It’s greasier to me, to be quite honest. Cosrx Snails sinks right in.

Lori: Greasy 😐 . Not. Greasy. At. All. I loved The Premium so much, I actually gave away my bottle of the original because after this it just took too long to absorb and felt, well, inferior. Doesn’t feel thick to me, THICKER than the original yes, but it’s still a pretty thin product in my arsenal.

Erika: I might have been using the light version of the Gokujyun when comparing. Whichever it was, it had a slick feel that’s similar to the Shirojyun, just more moisturizing. It was more of a water or toner.

Lori: Maybe that’s why we think so differently, the light I haven’t tried but I’m sure it’s, well, lighter. The original just stays on my skin for a long time. The Shirojyun does too, especially the milk, which I LIKE, but I can double dip on this Premium stuff and not waste time.

Erika: How odd… not for me. I apply my Missha First Treatment Essence, then the Shirojyun and it sinks right in like the FTE. I can put it on my face and it’s mostly absorbed in 30 seconds, then I move on to my serum steps.

Lori: It takes mine a minute, but I’m a slatherer before I pat stuff on (aesthetician habit). Still, I much prefer this non-sticky finish the Premium gives. I follow up with the Goku milk or the Shiro milk right after, depending on what else I’ve done.

Erika: I don’t know… I don’t put very much of the Shiro on. I put, at the most, a quarter size splash into my hand, and that’s when I put too much. Non-sticky!

Lori: A quarter? THAT’S SO MUCH WTH! A pea size or even dime is enough LOL I feel like this is the culprit to you hating The Premium.

Erika applying her Hada Labo – L

Erika: *Smdh* I definitely never put more than the tiniest amount ever of the Premium on my face.

Lori: I even I like to slap The Premium on midday when I’m starting to feel crusty lol.

Erika: OMG. You’d have to kill me first.

Lori: LMAO. Because it just soaks in! This just goes to show how dry skin vs normal to oily is so different. Mine is like a sponge.

Erika: Sooo different. That’s why I prefer light layers. Thick layers feel like you’re strangling my face with a moist blanket.

Lori: *shakes head because this feels light and not thick at all* Well, this is a definitely a 100% repurchase for me. You know, in 2019, when I run out.

Erika: Lol! So sorry…but not really.

Lori: *def not sorry* My gain lol.

Erika: *Looks around for other gross feeling stuff I can send you*

Lori: LMAO speaking of…

Next up in the Acid Wars Series, Lori tortures Erika with the Naruko Snail Sheet Mask as she’s never tried it. (evil laughter) Thoughts on that to come!

Final Thoughts:

Jun Ji-Hyun is sooooooo pretty!

Hello, fellow beauty addicts! I thought I (Lori) would go into further detail on the application for this and the other Hada Labo lotions. Some of you might be confused about what I meant earlier by foaming up with this product, and some of you won’t be surprised at all as it’s happened to you.

Both the lotions, Gokujyun and Shirojyun are a bit finicky if you rub it between your hands too much. If you’re like me, I like to warm up products and evenly coat my hands for what I call the “Smear & Pat” (the Swish & Flick of the skincare world). This method effectively and evenly distributes the product on your face first, and then uses patting motions with your fingertips or palms, to promote absorption. Unlike putting products on your finger tips and directly going into patting mode, which leads to more product on some areas of your face than others. Which is fine for some products and the goal if you’re targeting, but mostly with skincare we want an even application.

Well, this stuff doesn’t play well with that method. When rubbing them between your hands to evenly distribute, it will slightly foam up, turning into a thick mess that will sit on your skin and take longer to absorb. Absorb it will, but it’s not a pleasant feeling, so I don’t recommend trying it. I have noticed the premium does this to a lesser extent, so yay for that.


So, I like to take a pea to a dime size amount, slide it across my hands once and then go at it. I have also noted that these lotions sometimes react weirdly with some acids. For example, if I put this over Paula’s Choice 2% BHA, it’s completely fine. If I put it over her 4% BHA Retexturizing Foam, however, even if I wait thirty minutes, it turns into a foaming, gelatinous, gooey, raving, sticky mess that just sits atop your skin like a film. So something to note.

We will leave you with some basic info on the Gokujyun Premium:


  • Five types of hyaluronic acid(3D hyaluronic acid, adsorption type hyaluronic acid, hyaluronic acid, super hyaluronic acid, nano hyaluronic acid)
  • This lotion has a lasting moisturizing effect.
  • Slightly acidic, fragrance-free, no color additives, oil-free, alcohol (ethanol) free
  • Made in Japan /Contents:170ml

* Taken from


Water, butylene glycol, glycerin, PPG-10 methyl glucose ether, hydroxyethyl urea, sodium acetylated hyaluronate (super hyaluronic acid), sodium hyaluronate, hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid (nano hyaluronic acid), hydroxypropyltrimonium hyaluronate (skin absorbent type hyaluronic acid), sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer (3D hyaluronic acid), aphanothece sacrum polysaccharide (sacrum), hydrogenated starch hydrolysate, glycosyl trehalose, diglycerin, sorbitol, pentylene glycol, triethyl citrate, carbomer, polyquaternium-51, PEG-32, PEG-75, ammonium acrylates crosspolymer, disodium EDTA, potassium hydroxide, diethoxyethyl succinate, disodium succinate, succinic acid, phenoxyethanol, methylparaben.

– Erika and Lori

What do you think?